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In Connecticut, state employees retire – get rehired

It’s bad enough the public perception of state employees is that they have easy gigs with great benefits, but now – even after Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R-Conn.) said she would investigate and halt double-dipping – we find more than 500 employees who retired in June are back on the payroll.

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My opinion on the death penalty

I bet you’ll never guess. I’ve got what I think is a pretty practical view on the death penalty – or lack there of such a penalty – when it comes to murder sentencing. Although I do not have (thank God) a family member or friend who has been affected by a capital felony case, my view is that it would be fine to get rid of the death penalty… with a few caveats.

Rick Green over at the Hartford Courant online posted part of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s letter to Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz where she vetoes HB 6578, An Act Concerning the Penalty for a Capital Felony..

Rell writes…

There is no doubt that the death penalty is a deterrent to those who contemplate such monstrous acts. The statistics supporting this fact, however, are not easily tabulated. How do we count the person who considered the consequences of the crime and walked away? We cannot, but we know that this occurs. We have a responsibility to act to prevent these heinous crimes and to ensure that criminals will not harm again.

Since Rell did not provide any statistics, Green provided a link to the Death Penalty Information Center post comparing the murder rates of death penalty and non-death penalty states. The statistics “show” that states without the death penalty have lower murder rates.

Come on now… it’s not plausible to think a criminal would commit capital felony murder specifically because they were in a death penalty state, or elect not to commit murder since the penalty was only life in prison.

Rell was right on the money when she stated you can not measure crimes that did not happen due to sentencing guidelines that scared criminals straight. This also applies to crimes that were not committed by criminals in a specific area due to a higher percentage of citizens trained and carrying a concealed pistol.

There are many other factors to consider, and since I don’t what to re-phrase my comment on Green’s CT Confidential post, here it is, with my emphasis of my own comment in bold.

Is the Death Penalty Information Center suggesting that there is a direct correlation between murder rates in non-death, and death penalty states? In other words, there would be less murders if we did not have the death penalty, and having the death penalty increases murder rates?

That’s not really plausible.

Connecticut is a death penalty state, but in reality that punishment does not act as a deterrent since we’ve only executed one person in something like 20 years.

Since 1976, there has [sic] been about 1,175 executions in the United States, with 73 percent executed in only nine states, and 54 percent in Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma alone.

Statistics ya know? What’s the bias of the Death Penalty Information Center?

That said, I’m fine with abolishing the death penalty, but once convicted and sentenced to life without parole, the inmate should get no visits with family, no TV, no mail privileges, no interaction with other inmates and only occasional Red Cross visits.

The problem is that people will fit [sic] to get visitation, TV, mail privileges and human interaction … all perks the victims and the victims [sic] families would not have access to.

I’ll add that I’m find with basic medical care and three non-tasty meals a day, but once the appeals are done, they should be done. No more appeals and lawyers arguing for a new trial. If the felon was going to get the death penalty that has been reduced to life without parole – he or she is done with the court system and is a ward of the state.

Your comments?

When increased taxes are bad – increase government fees

Just like many American families, the State of Connecticut is battling a budget problem. You see, revenues are down and expenses are up. Unlike the government, families just can’t raise their fees to generate income.

Since increasing taxes has resulted in Tea Parties all over the country (bad karma for politicans), Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) has suggested increased fees across the board. For those of you new to the process, that is just another way to increase taxes. Details are available in the Governor’s Bill 837.

So, what fees do you increase?

  • Notary Public fees will be double or triple. The application fee alone is going from $60 to $120.
  • Need birth certificate information? Those fees double too.
  • Are you a nurse? Your fee just went from $100 to $200 per year. (Advanced practice RN fees go from $120 to $240 per year) We need more nurses, so it makes total sense to double their fees…
  • Looking to apply or renew your pistol permit? The fee will double from $70 to $140.
  • Are you a teacher looking for a certificate from the State Board of Education? Fees double from $100 to $200.
  • Is your town planning a public swimming pool? The commissioner of Public Health has to review the plans and charges you $600 – nope, now $675.

Fees are also going up for licensed day care providers, retail establishments who sell cigarettes, bingo establishments, changes to birth certificates, dentists, optometrists, funeral operations, youth camps, nursing home inspections, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and more – lots more!

In general, fees that were under $200 seem to have doubled or tripled and higher fees have gone up as well.

By the way, did you know that if you work in a horse stable and are an exercise boy, groom, stable foreman, hot walker, or outrider – whatever that is – your license fee went from $10 to $15?

Ridiculous! What kind of fee increases are planned in your town or state? Let us know in the comments below.

Hat tip to reader Carolyn B who let us know about the RN fees. It is important to note that the special interest lobby (God forbid) has brought many of these fee changes to light – not the media. My guess is Carolyn B was notified about the increases by an organization that represents her interests – one of those awful special interest lobbies.